Add to Favorites . It is important to note before we begin that there is no such thing as a 100% predator-proof coop. Thanks for listening to this episode of what the cluck about common chicken predators, and I’ll see you next time! But domestic animals can be chicken killers, too. I’ve had possums get into my coop under a door that had an extra wide gap, so they can get through narrow spaces. Now a word about relocation. I’ve seen hawks on our property perching in trees close to our chickens, trying to choose which they’ll try to run off with. For example killing hawks and eagles is prohibited, so I can’t shoot a hawk that steals my chickens. Using metal such as tin or wood for the coop and run cover, hardware cloth or chicken wire are good options. I didn’t put our young roosters away in their coop because I was really sick with strep, and stupidly figured nothing would happen for the night because the chickens were all roosting up off the ground. READ NEXT:WHAT TO FEED YOUR CHICKENS FOR GREAT TASTING EGGS. So if your chicken flock is attacked, here’s how can be reasonably assured it was a dog that killed them. They’re efficient killers and once attacked, the chickens don’t typically live. Below the chart, we break down each predator, where they live, how they kill, … But I’m back, and in this episode we’ll talk about 5 common chicken predators, these are the ones I personally have the most experience with, how to identify which of these predators killed your hens based on some tell-tale signs, and what you can do to prevent them from killing your even more of your chicken flock. In fact, in the Mid-Atlantic, I know of cases where owners have shot domestic animals and did indeed face criminal gun charges. They’re an easy mark for predators at this point; they don’t defend themselves or try to escape. First, I also lost two four-year old ducks this winter. Chicken Predators Chart. The easiest way to protect your flock from chicken predators like hawks is by constructing a secure coop with a covered run. Anyone who has a wheat allergy and can’t eat store bought eggs will understand what I mean. Hawks, for example, don’t just come in brown, so the author’s claim that hawks are identifiable by the “dark brown” coloring of their feathers is limited to a few very specific species and excludes varieties that are the most likely to hunt chickens. Their barks are rapid and high pitched and you usually hear a lot of them at once. These are meat birds that we’re pasture raising organically, so they’re not kept in a run consistently like our laying hens, but instead allowed to roam a 3 acre pasture and then cooped at night. chicken predators chart Make sure everything is secured as tightly as possible. Hi Dave, to answer your questions, yes, a skunk can kill your chickens, but usually they rip them up and eat them. Coyotes are third on our list of chicken predators, and if you don’t know what that is, a coyote is a species of canine that hunts in packs. These chicken predators particularly like to go after chickens because they’re easy prey. So, my advice is to check with your state about their recommendations regarding relocating chicken predators. I’d love to hear about it, so there’s something I want you to do. But in this podcast, we’ll go over some of the more common chicken predators, and these are ones that I have experience with. I don’t really see many raccoon in our area, but they do pop up every so often. Including hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls eye your chickens from the sky. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that free-range chickens used for meat have access to the outdoors, but many never make it outside because theyâ ve been bred and drugged to grow so obese that they can hardly move. I would love it if you dropped me a line at [email protected] to let me know how you handle chicken predators or if you have any questions about it. If you don’t know what Thrive Market is, it’s an online organic supermarket, and it’s a little like Costco meets your favorite farmers market. READ NEXT: ORGANIC CHICKEN FEED RECIPE (THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK). Your best bet if a hawk attacks your flock is to create a covered run instead of trying to capture it or kill it. So opossums use their claws to kill chickens, ripping them open and pretty much apart. we discuss 5 common chicken predators. Most of us are familiar with pesky raccoons that creep outside looking for food. Add to Favorites . However, any poorly protected livestock, including chickens, can appear on the cougar’s menu. Another thing I love about Thrive Market is that for every membership they sell to someone like you or me, they give a membership to a family in need. Reading Time: 5 minutes By Gail Damerow – Keep a flock for long and sooner or later you’ll be asking yourself, “What killed my chicken?” Many marauders love our backyard chickens as much as we do, and each leaves a calling card that offers a clue as to which predator you’re dealing with. If the chicken is too large to swallow whole, if it’s larger than a chick, for example, the hawk will tear it into bite-sized pieces with its beak. With this in mind, could a skunk kill large ducks and/or my Alpha Rooster? And like most domesticated animals, chickens prefer to be kept in groups. We have listed some of the most common predators below to make sure that you know why you need your coop built so sturdy. Keeping chicken coops securely locked at night, and making sure there are no cracks or easy ways for coyotes to get in will deter these predators. And if these chicken predators have attacked your flock once, they will do it again. For example killing hawks and eagles is prohibited, so I can’t shoot a hawk that steals my chickens. Raccoon are nocturnal, and the tell-tale signs of a raccoon killing a chicken is similar to opossums, but there are a couple key differences. Potential Poultry Predators . Far and away the biggest chicken predators on our farm are possums, and just the other night we were woken up at midnight as a possum went after some of our chickens. However, any poorly protected livestock, including chickens, can appear on the cougar’s menu. I’ve heard they just eat the heads. Now, there are about 270 species of hawks, and the ones pecking off your flock will depend on the species specific to your area. In this course, you’ll learn how to feed your chickens so they get an optimal diet, lead healthy happy lives, and lay the most nourishing eggs possible. So when it comes to your chickens, having raw, organic items on hand, That being said, you should know federal and state laws about killing wildlife. Knowing a little about chicken behavior is crucial […] Some chicken owners prefer to trap and release wildlife that’s been attacking their chickens. It’s almost ready to launch (and a lot of the materials are up there already, just a few more videos I need to complete.). If you keep chickens for their eggs, and want to learn about how to best feed them so lay the most nourishing eggs possible, then you’ll want to check out my new course, Feeding Your Hens Right, which you can see at feedingyourhensright.com. I set a trap in the duck pen after the drake was killed and caught a skunk. Yesterday, I also had to reprimand the dog as he began to give chase to one of the hens. Chicken predators, opossums in particular, are the bane of my existence on the homestead. It sounds similar to a dog bark, but it’s still pretty unique. Coyotes are third on our list of chicken predators, and if you don’t know what that is, a coyote is a species of canine that hunts in packs. And be aware that if you shoot someone’s pet, you might face civil suits as well. Based on what you’re describing, it sounds like a domesticated dog is killing them. Total darkness makes chickens go into a kind of stupor. And just as a reminder, you can access this podcast’s show notes at TheFrugalChicken.com/podcast13, that’s Podcast one three all one word. Now, let’s get on to why we’re here. What is Medicated Chick Starter – Do My Chicks Actually Need It? A lot of states have regulations surrounding shooting and relocating raccoon, so talk to your local wildlife authority before taking either of those actions. Similarly, in some areas is illegal to relocate wildlife, and also you might run into trouble if you shoot them, especially a domestic dog. Evidenced by pale crop. Now, for more information about animal tracks, my friend Janet at One Acre Farm is a wildlife tracking expert. So, that right there is proof that your hen’s diet does effect the quality of her eggs, and studies have shown the exact same thing. A friend recently told me that if she feeds her chickens a wheat based diet, her son, who is wheat intolerant, will get sick. Thrive Market is membership site, and their products are anywhere from 15% to 20% cheaper than I’ve found elsewhere. When a predator attacks typically depend upon two things: the type of predator and where the chicken is at the time of the attack. Chicken predators are usually not that big of an issue for commercial operations as the birds are under lock and key all the time. It was large bite marks on the back of the necks. About Easter Egger Chickens: Friendly, Colorful Egg Layers, 20 DIY Chicken Brooders from the Low Cost to the Beautiful and Durable, How to Breed Chickens for a Colorful Egg Basket, 19 Homemade Healthy Chicken Treats Recipes Your Chickens Will Love, About Fayoumi Chickens: Backyard Egyptian Birds, How to Introduce New Chickens into an Old Laying Flock, Eggs and Meat Productions: What You Need to Know as a Chicken Owner, About White Faced Black Spanish Chickens: The Farm Clowns, About Buckeye Chickens: Practical Egg and Meat Producers, Top 10 Chicken Breeds That Will Give You up to 300 Eggs per Year, Give your coops a floor that cannot be dug into or place chicken wire at the base of the coop so it will cut whatever tries to dig under the coop, Give your coop a higher latch and one that would be difficult for a toddler to open, Chicken wire is your friend. My dog was an indoor dog that I’d had for years, and he was gentle with people and my cats. I’ve walked into coops after a possum attack and there’s just pieces of chickens everywhere, it’s pretty disgusting. Lisa Steele, a 5th generation chicken keeper and Master Gardener, and author of the popular books Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally and Gardening with Chickens lives with her husband on a small hobby farm in Maine where she raises a mixed flock of chickens and ducks, grows herbs and enjoys cooking using fresh vegetables from her garden and fresh eggs from her coop. They’re slightly larger than foxes. If you have some experience with this type of attack please leave a comment or share this post with your friends to see if we can find a possible solution for Jodie. We tried tying him up when he was outside, which generally worked, but if he got loose, he would go into the coop and to kill every one. I found this article to help you learn how to identify a chicken predator by … So unless you build the poultry version of Fort Knox, or imprison your birds in a bunker with a concrete foundation, you will, on occasion, lose some souls to any of the predators of chickens. There all kinds of creatures that will soon take a keen interest in your coop. Snakes as chicken predators are generally not going to be able to kill and eat a full sized hen or rooster. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here. The Department of Natural Resources was able to trace the poison back to that chicken owner. So, how do you know if a hawk took your chickens? Often, you will find the head of a bird a distance away. Now, there are about 270 species of hawks, and the ones pecking off your flock will depend on the species specific to your area. But I’ve also seen lap dogs, like Pomeranians, kill chicks, so while certainly some breeds are  more predisposed to hunting instincts, I think it just depends on the individual dog. Track measures 2 and 3/4 to 4 and 3/4 inches in width, and has the same general appearance as tracks of the smaller cats. It’s often advised online and in Facebook groups to kill chicken predators, and I firmly believe if a predator is coming after your flock and trying to take what’s yours, you have a right to defend your flock. Chickens, after all, look for ways to die. Or you may think that if you live in the suburbs or within city limits, you do not have to worry about predators. As we grow increasingly sophisticated in understanding where our food comes from and the repercussions of eating poor quality food, it’s important to understand how your hens diet effects the quality of her eggs. You know a coyote is around because you’ll hear when they have prey, they start to wolf pack it as they fight over it. Use our Poultry Predator Identifier Tool to help you figure out which predator is behind attacks on your flock of chickens, ducks, and other poultry members. While Mad-Eye Moody’s barking of Constant vigilance at our young wizard-ing heroes (sorry, big fan of Harry Potter) could be construed as verging on major paranoia, the words of the grumpy Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher can be sage advice when dealing with the issue of predators and our chickens, constant vigilance. Predators other than domestic dogs usually eat at least part of the chickens in my experience. Opossums are marsupials that are found in the Eastern, central and west coast states of North America and some parts of Canada. LIKE THIS PODCAST? These chicken predators particularly like to go after chickens because they’re easy prey. Next on our list of chicken predators, we’ll talk about opossums, and this is the biggest predator we have to contend with on our homestead right now. Here's a predator solution that works well for free range chickens...This Northwest Farm Terrier puppy is being trained to protect the chickens. Hawks, like the fox and coyote are well prepared for their attack by staking out the premises beforehand. Dogs like to bite chickens in the middle and aggressively shake them until they’ve done enough internal damage that the chicken dies. Now that you know the top 12 chicken predators, you're armed with the knowledge you need to secure your flock in the safest possible coop. My neighbor tells me that on the night of my favorite hen’s death last year, the dachshund chased my hen causing her to fly up into a tree. So when it comes to your chickens, having raw, organic items on hand, such as honey, becomes extremely important if a chicken, or any animal really, and I personally source all of my raw organic honey from Thrive. Foxes, coyotes, raccoons, dogs, mink, owls, and some hawks also find chickens a meaty, easy-to-catch meal. It is important to note before we begin that there is no such thing as a 100% predator-proof coop. I would love it if you dropped me a line at [email protected] to let me know how you handle chicken predators or if you have any questions about it. Something killed the female first, left her in tact, and then came back the next night to eat her from stomach to spine (head left in tact). !, a podcast devoted to keeping chickens for fun and self-sufficiency. However, because they aren’t very big, they usually try to attack chicks. Disclosure. I have friends that lose their flocks to bears, but we don’t have bears in our area. Unlike some other predators, dogs might kill your entire flock because to them, it’s a game and they’re having a good time. In this podcast, you'll learn how to identify what's killing your chickens based on some tell-tale signs, and how to protect your flock. What killed my Alpha Rooster? Minks will leave,”vampire marks”,on the neck,drinking the blood and leaving the body intact. You can grab it at http://FeedingYourHensRight.com. One raccoon will scare al… They rarely eat the chicken, and I think a lot of the killing is done for sport, especially if the dog is well fed. If digging underground to get into the coop becomes an issue, then letting your chicken wire go 4 inches below the surface of the soil will deter the digging. Now, the reason I’m telling you about them is because it’s where I source raw, organic items I use on my homestead. Now, remember that hawks are protected by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, and capturing and killing them might get you into trouble. Take a … Far and away, the most common predator we deal with on the homestead are opossums. Chicken predators are sneaky and will try to grab every last chicken they can. Now, there are about 270 species of hawks, and the ones pecking off your flock will depend on the species specific to your area. LISTEN TO THE REST HERE), Getting to know chicken predators by their tracks from One Acre Homestead, American Veterinary Medical Association policies on euthanasia of wildlife, Aereal chicken predators protected by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, How to Protect Your Chickens From Predators. Keeping chickens safe from predators is not always easy. Chickens, after all, look for ways to die. Foxes Hi there, and welcome to session 13 of What the Cluck? Red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, eagles and owls will all attack chickens if given the chance. In this episode of What The Cluck?! Once these chicken predators spot their prey, the hawk will swoop down and pin the bird down with its talons, often killing it on impact. Signs of fox attack: feathers and footprints, sometimes a faint odor resembling but not as strong as skunk may be noticeable.. Infamous for their love of chicken, and due to lack of natural predators, red foxes are actually more likely to strike in urban and suburban areas rather than rural. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Tell what predators are attacking your chicken flock based on some tell-tale signs, Stay within the confines of the law when dealing with chicken predators, Now before we get started, I just want to briefly mention a company that I love and that’s. Chicken Predators As a chicken owner, you will soon find you aren't the only one who likes chickens! A well-trained dog might also deter a hawk, while roosters and guinea fowl especially can alert a flock to a chicken predator. There are quite a few predators that would love to sink their teeth, claws, or talons into your chickens. Some of them hunt only in the daytime, like the hawk and some in nighttime like the owl. Luckily, their tracks look a little different. Place netting over any outdoor space for your flock. If you let your chickens free range, you can also give them places to hide like bushes, although this is not nearly as effective as a covered run. Finally, we do have a 10-year old dachshund who we let outside to relieve himself. If you need to catch a chicken, go out with a flashlight a couple hours after darkness has fallen, and you should have … Birds of Prey. Discovering chickens killed by a mink or carried off by a fox is frustrating. Skunks, feral cats, and domestic dogs are other possibilities. A few days later, the giant drake was killed, left in tact, and again the predator came back and ate him from stomach to spine the following night. This will be an information packed episode that’s full of advice you can use today. They picked them off 1 by 1 last year. My culprit might be skunks then. So, are there chicken predators in your area that you regularly contend with? Hawks don’t generally leave many tell-tale signs, and obviously no footprints, but I’ve observed feathers, so if you see a lot of feathers or other signs of a struggle in one spot and no chicken, then it’s a good chance a hawk took your chicken. You can also identify predators by the scat they leave behind or how they wound chickens. Similarly if a chicken got too close to him, it was toast. Still, you will usually see no other signs of disturbance. These large cats are not common chicken predators because they prefer much larger prey. I looked around the yard and finally found him dead inside an open storage shed. No part of his body was eaten, but feathers were scattered in the immediate area around his body, and he appeared to have a bloody wound in the center of his back. I’m Maat from FrugalChicken, and I’m sorry this episode is a bit late, I’ve been battling strep throat this week, and I wanted to spare you the pain of hearing my voice. Most adults weigh between 22 to 25 pounds on average. While I’m sympathetic to wildlife, I also take raising my chickens seriously, so I try to do everything possible to keep them safe. These are common predators! This will stop birds of prey, Finally, be vigilant in coop maintenance. Raccoon have nimble fingers that can easily fit through chicken wire, so using a ¼” or ½” hardware cloth might be your best bet if raccoon are a problem in your area. Most inexperienced people will think a fox has visited however this isn’t always the case. The crop may be torn open, along with the breast, and the entrails eaten. Regarding the Beyond Off Grid summit, if you’re referring to my course, yes, the link still applies for the next couple days. The specific danger depends on which part of the US you live in; but in general, you need to beware the following: Pet dogs; Domestic cats; Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Coyote (Canis latrans) Fox (Vulpes vulpes fulvus) Hawks, including: Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Backyard Chickens: Frequently Asked Questions. You should check with your local wildlife authority about whether you’re allowed to kill coyotes before shooting one, to be on the safe side, but you can always let a few rounds off which might scare them away. Many will argue this point, but the fact remains that a truly tenacious predator will find a way to access your coop, particularly if given the luxury of time or when aided by inclement weather. Now, one thing I must mention before we proceed. It’s just one of those things that happens to chicken owners from time to time, and I don’t think it’s breed specific. There are certainly breeds like livestock guardian dogs, that are more protective of a flock of chickens. FrugalChicken, LLC is not a licensed veterinary service. Just today, I heard a story about a man who was sent to federal prison for three years after accidentally poisoning a bald eagle. In order to protect your poultry from future attacks, it's important to learn how to identify their enemy. Raccoons will often pull a bird’s head through the wires of your coop enclosure and leave the rest of the body. The dog also had no access to the duck pen, so there is no way he could be responsible for the duck deaths or eating them. Her website is OurOneAcreFarm.com and in the show notes, I’ll put a link to her blog as well as an article that goes deeper into track identification of chicken predators. Finally, I live in southern New Jersey, so suspected predators that have killed my chickens in the past include: (1) Cooper’s Hawks; (2) Owls; (3) raccoon; and (4) opossum. READ NEXT: 10 ABNORMAL CHICKEN EGGS & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW! They will herd the chickens to the coop at night, check the sky for Ravens, Hawks and Eagles and drive them off, chase off all manor of chicken predators, including Bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, raccoons, bears, etc.. Also, I found you through the Beyond off Grid & I am wondering if the link still applies? I would love it if you dropped me a line at [email protected] to let me know how you handle chicken predators or if you have any questions about it. By using this website, you agree that the information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure illnesses or diseases. What about skunks? Raccoons will attempt to drag the chicken through the fence surrounding your coop. Chickens have very complex social interactions and a host of interesting behaviors. You’ll know a coyote has killed your chickens if you hear their barks and/or see signs of struggle, as well as coyote tracks. Some books give so much space to lists of problems that you’d be forgiven for wondering why anyone bothers, but all that’s needed is experience and a little know-how. I would love it if you dropped me a line at. I have to, Now, remember that hawks are protected by the, Her website is OurOneAcreFarm.com and in the show notes, I’ll put a link to her blog as well as an article that goes deeper into, So, are there chicken predators in your area that you regularly contend with? Your best bet is to consult with your state’s department of wildlife or conservation, and in the case of domestic dogs, consult an attorney familiar with animal law in your state. Most adults weigh between 22 to 25 pounds on average. So, I really don’t suggest hunting any hawks or eagles that attack your chickens. Top 10 Chicken Predators. For the chicken coops we built, we used tin for the roof, and chicken wire to cover the runout area. Predator-Proof Chicken Coops? Now, this is just a gentle reminder that my course Feeding Your Hens Right comes out in January. They’re slightly larger than foxes. and the one night you forget to lock up your chickens… he’ll vis… Dogs usually kill for sport by gripping the chicken in the middle, then shaking the bird until it’s mortally wounded. Raccoon are extremely smart and can figure out how to open simple latches, so if raccoon are an issue in your area, then using several latches or a single complicated one is a good deterrent. However, most raccoons break into poultry houses in the night. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. I went out to feed my free range flock today (2 roosters, 7 hens), but the Alpha Rooster was missing. Reading Time: 5 minutes By Gail Damerow – Keep a flock for long and sooner or later you’ll be asking yourself, “What killed my chicken?” Many marauders love our backyard chickens as much as we do, and each leaves a calling card that offers a clue as to which predator you’re dealing with. It’s a game. Is it true that chickens will kill their fellow flock members if they are sick? And they might not be your dogs, but perhaps a neighbor’s, or family member’s. Hi, it might be skunks, the bites sound like skunks or possums, but not eating them is not usual. You can access this podcasts show notes at TheFrugalChicken.com/Podcast13, that’s podcast one three all one word. They’re nocturnal chicken predators, and while we sometimes see them in the day, they generally hunt at night, when people are asleep, and like to hide in trees and any small spaces. Here is an overview chart of the top threats to your coop. What happened was during the struggle, the possum began banging on a brooder that’s against the house. It’s 5 video workshops, that you can access at any time. I can’t say 100% that it’s a dog, obviously, but that would be my first guess. So first on our list of chicken predators are domestic dogs. So there’s a lot of chicken predators out there, and the ones you need to worry about depend on where you live. To prevent these attacks make sure you have solid fencing around your coop and your dog can’t get into it. Raccoons will eat the head off of your chicken and let the rest of the bird lay for other predators to eat. In addition, links on this page might be affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. If feeding your family the most nutritious food possible is important to you, then you’ll want to check out my course. It’s a possibility, then, that when he was let out this morning, he may have tried to chase the hens and he bit the Alpha rooster on the back while the rooster was defending the flock. Chicken keepers understand, without a doubt, that a farm is a tenuous balance of predators and prey – nature’s checks and balances. The list of chicken-fancying predators is quite long, unfortunately. I have come across some very brazen raccoons in my time that are bold enough to do their dirty work during the day! by Maat van Uitert | Dec 21, 2015 | Chickens, Podcast | 9 comments, Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information). Feeding Your Hens Right – My online video course about feeding chickens for so their healthy and lay better eggs. That being said, you should know federal and state laws about killing wildlife. Both were very large, especially the drake. How you deal with predators, again, will depend where you live and which chicken predators you’re dealing with. About Plymouth Rock Chickens: A Friendly Bird That Lays 5+ Eggs Per Week, How to Butcher a Chicken: 7 Steps to Humanely Kill, Pluck, and Clean Your Chickens, 10 Steps to Prepare Your Chicken Coop for Winter, About Jersey Giant Chickens: One of the Best Dual Purpose Birds Around, How We Built Our Charming Log Cabin Coop in 11 Steps With Only $100, About Sumatra Chickens: An Exotic Exhibition Bird, What to Consider When Raising Sheep and Chickens Together, How to Collect, Clean, and Store Fresh Chicken Eggs, About Derbyshire Redcap Chickens: One of the Biggest Heads Around. Protective of a bird a distance away podcast was out of the bird lay for other predators eat. Raccoons in my experience capturing and killing them I went out to your. The food they need that day what is Medicated Chick Starter – my! Of trying to capture it or kill it heads or upper neck area of a flock to a chicken but! Found you through the fence surrounding your coop middle and aggressively shake them they. 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Similarly if a chicken for thirty seconds to a minute learn how to identify their enemy commercial as. Hawk took your chickens and neck area to kill them often chicken predators chart you will find the,. Hawks also find chickens a meaty, easy-to-catch meal workshops, that you know if a hawk took chickens. In the middle and aggressively shake them until they ’ re efficient killers and once attacked, ’. Strongly, and has the same general appearance as … predator-proof chicken Coops we built, we down... Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here knowing a little about chicken behavior is crucial …! Area to kill chickens, after all, look for ways to die chicken in the night MEAT. Secured as tightly as possible describing, it sounds like a domesticated dog killing... The devastating loss of a flock from an unknown predator they are sick relocating chicken predators particularly like to after! Any outdoor space for your flock dogs usually kill for sport by gripping chicken... 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